The Hacking of the American Mind

8232We first met Dr. Lusting in 2009 when UCTV presented his “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” lecture. That viral video now has over 7 million YouTube views, and more every day.

His latest program, “The Hacking of the American Mind: The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains,” coincides with the publishing of his new book of the same title.

In this half-hour interview, Lustig, a UCSF endocrinologist, explores the reward system in our brains – serotonin, cortisol, and dopamine – chemicals that drive our pleasure-seeking behaviors including overeating, drug use, and that ever-present cell phone. But he goes beyond just neural pathways and brain chemistry to impute the underlying economic machine that creates industries that profit off processed foods full of sugar.

He recommends a “four Cs” solution — connect, contribute, cope, and cook — urging a slowed-down lifestyle for the sake of our health and happiness.

In addition to the interview “The Hacking of the American Mind”, you may enjoy these short videos:

The Difference Between Happiness and Pleasure
Corporate Responsibility vs. Individual Responsibility
Are All Calories the Same?
Responsibility of the Food Industry
Processed Food and Pleasure

For a deeper dive, watch the video that started it all and other programs with Dr. Robert Lustig:
Sugar: The Bitter Truth
The Skinny on Obesity
Fat Chance: Fructose 2.0

Learn the Facts About Sugar

8232A dangerous white powder is in the news – sugar.

We’ve heard so much about the harmful effects of sugar lately, that it may be hard to distinguish facts from fiction, and it’s left many consumers with more questions than answers. That’s a problem because, let’s face it, when we’re talking about possibly reducing something we consume (and enjoy) on a daily basis, not knowing the facts can keep us from making necessary changes in our diets.

To get the facts, health scientists at UCSF developed SugarScience.org to learn more about the latest research findings on sugar and its impact on health. Their goal? To help you make healthy choices based on clear, unbiased, scientific evidence.

So far, the evidence is clear: too much added sugar doesn’t just make us fat – it can also make us sick. Americans consume an average of 66 pounds of sugar per year. Because it’s so easily digestable, too much sugar overwhelms the liver and can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even liver disease and failure.

“The news is hard to hear,” admits Professor Laura A. Schmidt, UCSF School of Medicine. “It’s tough stuff. Just like smoking back in the 50’s, you grew up thinking everybody does this, it’s benign. Now the scientific community is in the hard position of saying something you love and think is benign is harmful to your health.”

How much is too much? The American Heart Association recommends that we don’t exceed the following guidelines for daily added sugar intake:

Women: 6 teaspoons (24 grams)

Men: 9 teaspoons (36 grams)

Kids: 3-4 teaspoons (12-16 grams)

Preteens & Teens: 5 teaspoons (20 grams)

Once you start to look for added sugar, you’ll find it everywhere. SugarScience.org has uncovered 61 different names for sugar in the products we consume. Imagine my dismay when I discovered that my favorite salad exhausted my entire recommended daily allowance of sugar.

But even small changes can make a big difference.

Perhaps the simplest change you can make is to stop drinking “liquid sugar.” Sugary drinks such as sodas, sports drinks and even fruit drinks are particularly harmful. If we could eliminate sugary drinks, we’d collectively cut out 37% of our sugar consumption. And there’s evidence that artificial sweeteners inflict the same kind of damage as real sugar.

But life can still be sweet. “Added sugars” don’t include the sugars we find in fruits, berries, and vegetables. That’s because when we eat them, we also get their natural good fiber, which makes the sugar harder to digest and keeps it from overwhelming the liver.

Learn more about sugar and SugarScience.org. Watch Learn the Facts about Sugar – How Sugar Impacts Your Health today.

Monthly Highlights: June 2012

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Featured This Month
Program Highlights
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FEATURED THIS MONTH

Meet a Diabetes Hero!

On the season premiere of Taking Control of Your Diabetes, Urban Miyares, a legally blind Vietnam veteran with type 1 diabetes, proves that a “can do” attitude and effective management can turn an upsetting diagnosis into boundless possibilities. Dr. Steven Edelman talks with Miyares, an accomplished athlete in both skiing and sailing, about his remarkable achievements in the face of a medical challenge.

CARTA: Culture-Gene Based Interactions in Human Origins

In the latest programs from the Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA), experts discuss how cultural traditions have shaped, and continue to shape, our genomes.

“The Skinny on Obesity” Wraps Up


Have you watched UCTV Prime’s “Skinny on Obesity” yet? Well, now’s your chance to catch up. The 7-part series concluded at the end of May and all the episodes — including bonus footage and a wealth of complementary web material — are available online for binge viewing. Of course, you won’t be binge eating much after you finish.

You’ll also want to check out “UCTV Prime: Cuts” Tuesdays in June for a carefully selected series of excerpts from the Dalai Lama’s April visit to San Diego.


PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

All programs repeat throughout the month. Visit the Program Schedule on our web site for additional air dates and times.

Health & Medicine

Research on Aging: Sleep Disorders in Older Adults

Health Matters: New Melanoma Screening Method

Practicing Medicine Longer: Assessment of the Aging Physician

More >>

Science

Perspectives on Ocean Science: From the Titanic to the Tiny

To Be Human: What Makes The Human Brain Human? with Terrence Sejnowski

More >>

Public Affairs

China Airborne: Aviation and the Future of China with James Fallows and Peter Cowhey

Exploring Ethics: Henrietta Lacks and Human Subject Research: A Look at Past, Present, and Future

More >>

Humanities Humanities

Neuroscience and the Emerging Mind: A Conversation with the Dalai Lama on Consciousness and Compassion

Burke Lecture: Interpreting Islam in Modern Context with Tariq Ramadan

More >>

Arts & Music Arts & Music

La Jolla Music Society SummerFest 2008: Beethoven’s String Quartet in F-Major

More >>


Check out the latest additions to our online video archive

To Be Human: The Verve: How We Became Modern with Seth Lerer

Research on Aging: Aging and Life’s Goodies: Wisdom, Resilience, and Sex

More videos and podcasts>>